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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Dimethyl sulfoxide cataract: a model for optical anisotropy fluctuations
Author(s): Frederick A. Bettelheim; A. Coolidge Churchill; W. Gerald Robison; J. Samuel Zigler
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Paper Abstract

Rat lenses incubated in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)–water binary mixtures of different compositions became turbid. A slight haziness developed up to 0.062 mole fraction of DMSO; at higher concentrations dense turbidity developed. Microscopic examination of the incubated rat lenses showed damage restricted to the epithelium and outer cortex at low DMSO concentrations; maximum damage occurred, in terms of fiber cell swelling, extracellular fluid (lake) formation and disintegration of epithelium, at 0.25 mole ratio of DMSO. Scanning electron microscopic observation showed that at high DMSO concentrations, especially at 0.25 mole fraction, the contents of the fiber cells were greatly damaged. Apparently a large part of the crystallins had coalesced around the cytoskeletal bodies. Polarized light-scattering intensity measurements and their analyses indicated that when dense opacities developed at high DMSO concentrations, the major contribution to the turbidity came from the optical anisotropy fluctuations. The change in the organization of the components within the fiber cells disturbs the balance between intrinsic birefringence and form birefringence necessary for transparency. Thus, the DMSO-caused opacification can be described as a good model for the involvement of optical anisotropy fluctuations in cataractogenesis.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 1996
PDF: 7 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 1(3) doi: 10.1117/12.240660
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 1, Issue 3
Show Author Affiliations
Frederick A. Bettelheim, Adelphi Univ. (United States)
A. Coolidge Churchill, Adelphi Univ. (United States)
W. Gerald Robison, National Institute of Health (United States)
J. Samuel Zigler, National Institute of Health (United States)


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